It's saddening that we've come to rely on wearables for personal safety but on the other hand, it's good to know they exist as an extra precaution. It seems many agree as well. According to a recent report, the most wanted next-gen wearable is a panic or SOS button.
It makes sense considering a well designed wearable is the perfect form a personal safety device can take. Rather than the buttons from the 90s, the device can be stylish and discreet while remaining 100% functional. If it's a watch, pendant or ring, chances are you'll also have it on you most of the time meaning potentially dangerous situations can either be avoided or alleviated with the quick press of a button.
That seems to be the idea behind the current set of personal safety wearables out now, and on the way. Read on to see the wearables that want to ensure the safety of the wearer.
Safer is a smart necklace from company Leaf Wearables. The jewelry connects to the wearer's phone over Bluetooth and sends SOS alerts with your whereabouts to friends and family if tapped twice. There's a 90dB buzzer to act as an alarm and it recharges in 15 minutes via Micro USB. You can also share your location on a map in real time while traveling and preset specific contacts from the companion app. Safer even lasts up to seven days between charges.
The Nimb wearable is a smart ring that tracks your location and can send an alert to friends, families and emergency services if the user feels threatened. Once activated, the ring uses your smartphone to send a distress signal to preset contacts. It can even alert Nimb community users if they are within 300 yards and have the companion app.
From $99, nimb.com
The Athena pendant is reminiscent of a Misfit Shine or Jawbone UP Move fitness tracker, but with a very different functionality. Activated by holding the button for three seconds, Athena sounds an 85db alarm - the same decibel level as a freight train - and sends a message to pre-determined friends and family automatically. Your chosen contacts will get a map showing your location, directions and the opportunity to call you or 911. The unit itself is water-resistant and boasts a three month battery life. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth in order to generate the GPS location and summon help via the app. The pendant can be worn as a necklace or clipped to any item of clothing.
The Mangos ring is like the Nimb ring in that the top works as a panic button. Pressing it will send a buzz to your phone telling it that the ring has been activated. From there, it'll send a customized SOS message via text to friends with a link to a map of your location allowing them to respond or to dial for help. The low-powered smart ring will work for four hundred activations before the battery runs out, though it remains switched off when it's not in use.
Now the Apple Watch isn't an actual panic button however with the upcoming watchOS 3 update, we'll see the addition of a new SOS mode. Simply hold down the side button as you would to turn it off, and you'll get the option to select SOS. If holding it down longer for six seconds, the Apple Watch will attempt to call emergency services via cellular if an iPhone is connected and has signal, or over Wi-Fi directly. SOS contacts can also be added to receive notifications with a message saying the user has placed an emergency call, then see the location of the person.
One of the newest offerings from Pebble is the Pebble Core, a button shaped tracker that has several different uses depending on how you program the button's functions. One of the options is an SOS alert which can be activated by tapping the large center button. It can then send out your location to a friend or family member.
More of a heart monitoring device, the iBeat still doubles as an emergency personal safety wearable. 24/7 monitoring allows the company to keep an eye on heart rate anomalies and if iBeat detects something, the person is contacted. If the wearable owner does not reply, iBeat will call dispatch and notify emergency contacts letting them know the user's location.
Keeping in mind personal safety devices apply to people of all ages, the Allen Band detects falls that occur. The user can press a button to let loved ones know they're ok, and if the button isn't hit in time, the person's caregivers are automatically alerted that there's a problem.
From $350, theallenband.com
Similarily aimed at the older generation, the Kanega Watch wants to be the stylish version of Life Alert buttons. No smartphone connectivity is required, and the watch uses a speech based interface rather than buttons. If a fall is detected the user can say help is needed or tap the face for assistance.